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Bioarchaeology of Frontiers and Borderlands$
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Cristina I. Tica and Debra L. Martin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400844

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400844.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

Life on the Northern Frontier

Life on the Northern Frontier

Bioarchaeological Reconstructions of Eleventh-Century Households in North Iceland

(p.160) 7 Life on the Northern Frontier
Bioarchaeology of Frontiers and Borderlands

Guðný Zoëga

Kimmarie Murphy

University Press of Florida

This chapter discusses the bioarchaeological evidence for biological stress in two eleventh-century cemetery populations from Northern Iceland. Iceland was initially settled in ninth century CE, and its marginal location and challenging sub-arctic climatic conditions provided the first generations of settlers with a host of environmental and social challenges. The results of our analysis point to a population that endured periodic hardships as evidenced by high rate of infant death and the presence of various stress markers in the skeletal material. Conversely, the evidence also points to a people successfully counteracting the negative aspects of their physical environment by introducing various social and cultural buffering mechanisms to ensure their survival.

Keywords:   Bioarchaeology, Iceland, Infant death, Stress markers, Frontier

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